10 things to do in Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska
International Quilt Museum

Lincoln is more than just the state capital of Nebraska. It has a lot of nice attractions to check out. You can spend a day or a long weekend visiting some pretty interesting spots.

Here are our Top 10 Lincoln attractions:

State Capitol

Nebraska’s legislature is a one-house senate. The remaining 49 states have a semblance of a House of Representatives and a Senate. Nebraska has a unicameral system We have 49 state senators from around the state. Bills have to be approved three times before being sent to the governor for his/her signature to become law.

Lincoln, Nebraska
State capitol

Touring the state capitol is an interesting way to spend an hour or so of your day. I don’t think the capitol is as frilly or extravagant as some other states’, but that sort of speaks to the down-to-earth reputation of Nebraskans. Personally, I like the state’s Hall of Fame. Busts of famous Nebraskans are on display around the rotunda.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Chief Standing Bear bust as part of the state’s hall of fame at the capitol

Railyard/Haymarket District

Railyard/Haymarket District. The Haymarket District has been home to several stores, restaurants and bars downtown. Historic buildings have been saved from demolition and revamped into some outstanding businesses. One of our favorites is a licorice store that features candies from around the globe. Michael Forsberg – famous nature photographer – has his gallery in the Haymarket. Rocket Fizz gives visitors a trip through Nostalgiaville with retro soda and candy.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Rocket Fizz in Railyard area

A couple of years ago, the city created the Railyard District across the street from the new Pinnacle Bank Arena – home of Nebraska basketball, as well as great concerts and events. The Railyard offers a different take on entertainment with an outdoor skating rink during winter months. That area also serves as a giant patio, where people can gather to watch Husker sports on TV. We watched a Nebraska baseball game once. I think it would be a blast to watch Husker football on the giant TV screen, along with a few thousand fellow fans.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Railyard patio

We love Mellow Mushroom pizza. The eatery is across the street from the Pinnacle entrance. The pizza is unique and customers can actually order two types on one plate.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Mello Mushroom pizza joint near the arena

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

As the name implies, the zoo has a definite slant toward families with children. There are tons of activities for kids to participate in, as well as objects to climb on or under. But, the zoo has attractions adults will like, too. The zoo is much smaller than Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, but it’s a nice way to spend an hour or so. You can get up close to penguins, giant tortoises and birds.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Wallaby at Lincoln zoo

Pioneers Park

This park offers visitors a variety of activities and attractions. You can walk eight miles of trails. Bison and elk roam in their exhibits. A visitors center allows people an opportunity to check out information and use facilities. A statue of a bison welcomes visitors near the entrance. A set of old columns from the treasury building in Washington, DC, is a favorite wedding site for locals.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Elk at Pioneers Park

Sheldon Art Gallery

The gallery is located on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It’s home to both permanent and temporary exhibits. You can catch some interesting temporary exhibits, such as pieces of Lincoln history.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Sheldon art gallery

International Quilt Museum

UNL is home to the international quilt research center. You can see a history of quilts. During our visit, I figured we’d see ones like my grandma made. Nope. There is a true history to quilting, and the museum displays several styles of quilts – log cabin style to modern art.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Quilt highlighting Nebraska communities and attractions

 Morrill Hall

The UNL museum is home to the world’s largest mammoth skeleton. It also has a series of Tusker skeletons. The museum has one of the largest camel fossils on exhibit. Camels were once common in the region (before volcanic eruptions and continent shifting).

Lincoln, Nebraska
Mammoth fossil

Sunken Gardens

The botanical gardens are beautiful to visit in late spring – autumn. They are located near the Children’s Zoo. Roses and other flowers adorn the area and are beautiful.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Sunken Gardens botanical garden

Frank Woods Telephone Museum

The museum is only open three hours a week, but is worth the visit on a Sunday afternoon. It details the history of the telephone in Lincoln.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Telephone museum

Husker sports

Last, but not least, if you get the chance, take in a Husker game – football, baseball, volleyball or hoops. Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest city in Nebraska on a home football date (90,000+). It may be a cliché, but it’s true. Nebraskans love their college teams.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Go Big Red!

So, visit the Star City and check out the list…or make your own Top 10 list. Either way, enjoy your visit. For more information on Lincoln attractions, please visit www.lincoln.org.